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Google’s News Algorithm Favors Mainstream Media, Ignores Local Papers Who Break Story First

November 30, 2021 • 8:50 a.m.


Editor’s note: This story was posted 45 minutes after HMG’s.

Washington Post: What happens to democracy when local journalism dries up? The end result is disastrous.


Staff Report

Yesterday Hews Media Group – Community News obtained a letter from Sheriff Alex Villanueva to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors stating that the Covid testing company used by the county will take the data and give it to the Chinese.

HMG-CN broke the story at 8:53 p.m. on its website.

The L.A. Times broke its story online at approximately 10:53.

Yet a check on Google News this morning and a Google search place the LAT story first.

The company that is putting newspapers out of business is killing the small ones first with algorithms that favor mainstream media.

“I don’t want to hear any fucking excuses about SEO or other bullshit. If you put a news story up first, and you are legitimate, you should be placed first on any search,” said HMG-CN Publisher Brian Hews. “It’s probably because the LA Times spends a lot of money with Google.

“It’s like Google asks ‘who has the shiniest car, they go first.’ Meanwhile, community newspapers are dropping like flies leaving news deserts all over the nation, and Google is helping to kill those newspapers with their algorithms and greed,” said Hews.

One expert told HMG-CN, “It’s the number of visits, unfortunately, the LA Times has more authority than you.”

Screenshots below showing HMG-CN time of post and LAT time of post.


HMG-CN time of post (far right) at 8:53 p.m. Nov. 29.




Google news search shows LA Times first even though the story was broke two hours after HMG-CN.

The screenshot was taken at 8:30 a.m. which equates to 10:30 p.m. last night.